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Media Summary

New ‘Atzmaut’ party receives four portfolios in coalition deal

In the UK and international press today, all papers report on the Israeli Labour party news yesterday that Defence Minister Ehud Barak announced he was leaving the party to set up a new faction and three Labour party ministers resigned from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. The Telegraph and Guardian report that Netanyahu said that his coalition government has been strengthened by the decision of Labour to split and leave the government. In other news, all papers report that the UN tribunal submitted indictments over the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005 to a judge who will spend at least six weeks to decide whether to implement the indictments. The Independent notes that efforts to form a new government in Lebanon following the departure of Hezbollah members have been stalled. The Guardian notes that UN Director of Relief in Gaza, John Ging is leaving his post to take up a senior position in the UN in New York. The Telegraph notes that the US have threatened to veto a UN resolution condemning the Israeli settlements in the West Bank which Palestinian officials plan to present to the Security Council this week.

In the Israeli press, all papers extensively cover the news of the Labour party split and withdrawal from the government. In the latest developments, Likud and Atzmuat, Ehud Barak’s newly formed faction, held all night negotiations over a coalition deal which is aiming to be presented to the Knesset secretary as quickly as possible. Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post report that US President Barack Obama yesterday welcomed the filing of the indictment by the UN tribunal over the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. Haaretz and Ynetnews note that Palestinian officials plan to present to the UN Security Council a resolution this week condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank. IBA Radio notes that the German mediator for a prisoner exchange deal involving the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit has presented new ideas to Hamas, which Hamas accepted positively. Haaretz reports New information was disclosed yesterday evening regarding the chief of staff-designate, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant’s public land case. The paper, along with Ynetnews, also report that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons and could expedite the process.